Path #4: Observing, Listening and Asking Meaningful Questions
This learning path focuses on three specific components of functional assessment: observing, listening, and asking meaningful questions. Observing involves watching children and families in-person or on video, in the home and in other natural environments. Listening means connecting with the family to gain a comprehensive understanding of their priorities and concerns based on their resources, values, and culture. Asking meaningful questions helps promote a conversation with a family using open-ended questions to convey respect that enhances family-centered services. To get credit for this learning path, you must complete the six activities below, then take a quiz to test your knowledge. Once you have completed the learning path and scored at least 80% on the quiz, you will have access to a certificate of completion.
Total time to complete the learning path: 2.5 hours
Watch the video, Functional Assessment: Observing, Listening, and Asking Meaningful Questions. (VEIPD, run time 3:41)
This video demonstrates how observing, listening, and asking meaningful questions are important components of functional assessment.
Instructions: Watch the video.
Read both blog posts
Read the blog post, Enhancing Quality Functional Assessments for Each Individual Family
This blog gives practical strategies for functional assessment and provides an embedded link with examples of open-ended questions to ask about a variety of routines.
Instructions: Read the blog post. Reflect and comment on the two questions at the end of the blog post.
Read the blog post, Listening to the Family's Story
This blog post gives strategies to move from focusing on asking questions to ensuring we are purposeful and actively listening to the family’s story.
Instructions: Read the blog post. Reflect and comment on the question at the end of the blog post.
Listen to the podcast episode, Intentional Observation. (EI on the Fly, run time 30:44)
This podcast dives deeper into observation by defining it within the context of early intervention and considers how it helps us “watch to listen and learn.” Observation is discussed during the initial evaluation/assessment and service delivery, emphasizing how observation helps us gather functional information about children, how they interact with family members, and what interests and motivates them-all without inferring meaning or judgement. Tips are reviewed to help families understand the importance of observation.
Instructions: Click the link directly above to access the podcast. Click the green play button..
Watch the video, Using Video for REALLY Watching. (Results Matter, run time 1:52)
This video demonstrates the use of video recording to observe infants and toddlers and family strengths.
Instructions: Watch the video.
Listen to the podcast episode, Asking Meaningful Questions. (EI on the Fly, run time 43:03)
In this podcast, the hosts discuss how to gather functional assessment information from families by asking meaningful questions. Differences between formal interviewing and informal conversations are explained. Strategies are provided to support early interventionists with gathering information and encouraging families to share their knowledge and expertise.
Instructions: Click the link directly above to access the podcast. Click the green play button (Run time: 43:03).
Listen to the podcast episode, Active Listening. (EI on the Fly, run time 27:10)
This podcast defines active listening and discusses the importance of listening to families as they share information. Examples and strategies are explored to help early intervention practitioners build their active listening skills, emphasizing the HEAR model to guide practices.
Instructions: Click the link directly above to access the podcast. Click the green play button.
Complete the Quiz
You must achieve a score of at least 80% on the quiz to receive a certificate of completion. This certificate will document 2.5 professional development (PD) hours.